Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer at Sea by Beth Labonte

Title: Summer at Sea
Author: Beth Labonte
Published: April 2015
Format Read: Kindle for PC, eBook
Genre: Chick Lit, Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Date Read: June 11 2015
Rating: 5/5

Four jackets of varying weights, enough socks for the entire Confederate Army, three umbrellas, most of the antacid aisle from the local pharmacy, and six pairs of old people sneakers that all look exactly the same.

Have you ever helped your parents pack for a weeklong cruise?

No? I didn't think so. So shut it.

26 year-old Summer Hartwell, is a single school librarian living a home with her over protective parents, without a romantic prospect in sight. To celebrate the success of the fart app that made him a millionaire, her older brother arranges a cruise for the family. Thinking that the only way she will be able to move out of her parent’s house is if she gets married, Summer is determined to find a man on the week long cruise. However, big brother Eric backs out at the last minute and Summer is stuck sharing a suite with his childhood best friend and business partner Graham. Feeling obligated to take care of her senior citizen parents (and not give her mother a nervous breakdown), Summer is certain this trip will be a bust. Meanwhile Graham takes it upon himself to convince her to live a little and try new things, even if her parents won’t approve. After all she is an adult and should feel free to make her own decisions. 

Summer’s parents were older when she was born and raised her to be very sheltered. As a result she was always too afraid to try anything wild or fun, because she knew they wouldn’t approve. From making her wear a sweater on the beach to thinking they will get some sort of illness from the boats buffet, it was just one thing after another. I burst out laughing every time Mrs. Hartwell would refer to people who do certain things (like ride jet skis or get tattoos) as assholes. Meanwhile Summer beings to learn that deep down her father would really like to live a little and Graham helps to encourage him to do things he’s never done before.   I found myself rooting as Mr Hartwell came out of his shell, much to his wife’s dismay. 

I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in a long time. Between Summer’s complete lack of judgement with men to her parents paranoid escapades, Beth Labonte had me laughing from page one. Although there is some romance, this story is more about Summer’s journey to independence. It was interesting learning how much she is sacrificed for her parents and how she learns to be more independent.  

Summer at Sea is the second book by Beth Labonte, I have read. The previous book I read is called What Stays in Vegas. After reading these two different stories, one thing I found to be similar was the fact that both main characters were very relatable to me. I definitely share a sarcastic sense of humour with Summer. However the most ironic thing of all Is that fact that I am getting ready to go on vacation with my own parents.. and we are going on a boat! Thankfully my parents are very different and not as paranoid as Summer’s. 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny beach (or cruise) read. Summer at Sea is a book I would read again and again. I’m looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.

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